How to Help a Partner With Childhood Trauma Through Their Recovery Journey – Bridges to Recovery
Survivors of childhood trauma deserve all the peace and security that a loving . issues can heighten fear and may trigger flashbacks for someone with a Calling attention to the here and now (referencing the present date. Avoidance of relationships: "I'm someone who is better off alone." Addressing these issues pays off, though the fact that there are no guarantees is a. I'm also sharing that I got an email from someone at 2 a.m. last night who said that or emotional, the impact can show up in a host of relationship issues. When I started dating a blue-eyed boy last summer I felt it only fair to.
So naturally, our unresolved emotional issues from one familial bleeds in to the other intimacy. From an early age, you learned to be a counterbalance to the other people in your immediate family. Whatever the family unit needed you to be, you became.
So unless you become aware of, and shift your patterns, you will continue to live out the same emotional trauma that you experienced as a young child. So how do you become aware of how your childhood affects your current emotional patterns and love life?
How Childhood Trauma Can Wreck a Man's Relationship... and What You Can Do to Heal
Read on and see if you recognize any or several of the following common issues that I see in my coaching clients. Did they abandon you once or frequently, either by physically leaving or by being emotionally unavailable due to their own issues?
Did you rarely have a parental figure you felt like you could lean on? While you desperately want love and affection more than anything else, you are also terrified of letting others in to love you deeply.
Defectiveness Fear Of Being Unlovable Defectiveness is the feeling that you are unworthy or undeserving of being loved. The feeling that you are somehow defective as a person also known as shame-based thinking.
How to Help a Partner With Childhood Trauma Through Their Recovery Journey
A sense of defectiveness often comes from a mean or dismissive parent. Especially if you were a more sensitive or introverted child, a cruel familial relationship would weigh heavily on your self-esteem for many years to come. Sit with this feeling and follow it down.
If you feel that unique sense of shame when your heart feels rubbed the wrong way… listen to what your heart is telling you. What kinds of thoughts come up for you? And when you feel this way, what defense mechanisms do you employ? Do you keep people at arms distance emotionally?
Do you shut down and become passive in your communication? Your coping mechanism for not feeling worthy of being loved would be to distance yourself from loving relationships of any sort. It can be a scary endeavour to start to shift your behaviour, but small steps will start you on your journey.
Who you choose to let in to your personal space thoughts, feelings, etc. And you can take it at your own pace. Subjugation People Pleasing Subjugators are passive people-pleasers in their relationships. As difficult as it may be to admit, you cannot love trauma away from another person. Instead of trying to fix your partner, listen to them, validate their feelings, and show that you are there for them. That can be the greatest gift you give your partner.
Call for a Free Confidential Assessment. In a similar way, you may struggle to cope with the impact of their trauma on your relationship, yet feel unable to communicate those struggles in healthy ways or at all. As a result, it becomes impossible to fully understand each other, leading to hurt feelings, confusion, and, sometimes, resentment.
For your partner, being able to talk about their trauma and its effects can be tremendously powerful and creating an environment in which that can happen is essential. However, your loved one may not be ready to talk about their experiences—in fact, they may never want to talk about their experiences—and that is okay too.
At the same time, there are important things to communicate aside from details of trauma. Being able to freely share thoughts and feelings without judgment can be essential to ensuring your partner feels safe and cared for while giving them the opportunity to process those thoughts and feelings verbally. This includes day-to-day experiences as well as overarching needs and preferences that will help clarify how to create a stronger, healthier, and more trusting relationship while minimizing the risk of retraumatization.
Discuss how they want to be supported if they experience a flashback. Discuss how their needs and preferences change over time, including in response to treatment. It is only with this understanding that you will be able to be present for your loved one in a way that deepens your bond.
Of course, communication is not a one-way street and it is critical that you communicate as well. This can include making it clear that you do not judge them, that you support them, and believe them—often hearing these things explicitly and repeatedly is necessary to cut through the deep layers of shame and long-held silence surrounding childhood trauma. Tell your partner what you want in order to provide better support and to have a better relationship in general.
Remember that you are an active participant in your relationship and have your own needs and express those needs in productive ways. If you find that you are unable to resolve communication difficulties on your own, seeking the guidance of a couples therapist or a childhood trauma treatment program that includes couples therapy can help you open up a healthy dialogue. You should also always bring up concerns about any self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse or self-harm and encourage them to seek treatment or to discuss these issues with their current treatment provider.
It can be very difficult to not take these things personally and feel rejected, hurt, or embarrassed. In fact, many survivors feel tremendous guilt about the disturbances and limitations they experience because they are well aware of how they impact their partners, yet feel powerless to overcome them. At the same time, survivors may feel frustrated, misunderstood, and even disbelieved if you frame their reactions to trauma as reactions to you; by misidentifying the source of their feelings and behaviors, it can feel as if their experiences are rendered invisible and that their most painful traumatic memories have been reduced to seemingly arbitrary relationship issues.
How Your Childhood Is Messing Up Your Love Life
It is okay to feel frustrated, angry, and sad. Pathologizing authentic and valid concerns can be deeply destructive for both of you and prevent you from addressing problems in meaningful ways. You are not infallible and the fact that your partner struggles with the effects of childhood trauma does not mean that their feelings irrational or necessarily the products of trauma.
Begin Your Recovery Journey. By seeking the help of a therapist or peer support group, you will have a safe space to process your thoughts and feelings in a healthy and productive way. This includes those feelings that may bring up feelings of shame such as anger at your partner, the impulse to disbelieve or minimize, and fears of inadequacy. Verbalizing these feelings and coming to understand that you are not alone in experiencing them can be tremendously relieving.
Discussing these experiences with a trusted clinician and peers who understand what you are going through can help you create meaningful coping strategies, learn how to meet your own needs, and identify healthy boundaries.
- How Childhood Emotional Neglect Affects Relationships
- How Childhood Trauma Affects Adult Relationships
- How Your Childhood Is Messing Up Your Love Life
Taking care of yourself on a day-to-day basis is also an important part of staying stable and resilient through the recovery process. Remember to eat well, sleep well, and exercise. Remember that you are your own person with an identity that is separate from your partner. Remember to nurture your relationships with friends and family and create a solid support network.
Remember to fulfill your own ambitions and work on your own self-development.
These are all critical for both your wellness and your ability to be there for your partner.